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Fangs of Fury

YOU become a “volunteer” when your city’s self-defense system shuts down. The city is under siege by some warlord or another (of course) and they’re being directed by some evil wizard (yeah, sounds right). The city has a self-defense system of stone dragons that will exhale fire on the bad guys, but don’t-ya-know-it they ran out of fuel.

So it’s on you to run this torch statuette to the volcano and re-kindle it. Then the baddies will be roasted by dragon fire and ding-dong the wicked wizard is dead.

But they know you’re coming, and the city is under siege so even getting out of there and starting your quest will be an adventure.


Review and Opinion

When I first saw the name Luke Sharp, I groaned out loud and rolled my eyes. That’s the same guy who did Chasms of Malice, which was among the worst FF experiences I’ve had yet. But I was wrong – Fangs of Fury is actually pretty decent!

There’s a lot in here! There are a lot of paths that take some time to converge, resulting in many separate paths that cover a lot of area. There aren’t required quest items either, so with 12/24/12 you could power your way through at east a dozen different adventures. All of this re-playing and mapping took weeks!

There are also some jokes here and there if you look. Old Peg Leg pulls what seems to be the Jedi mind trick on some guards, which gave me a chuckle. There’s a giant yelling Fee Fi Fo Fum. The wands are only described on one page, as a wand that emits a sword of light – totally not copyrighted 1977 material there. All told, the writing is pretty decent, and is full of surprises and easy-to-miss story lines.

As to mechanics, there is some time pressure. There are 14 walls. When they all fall you’ll keel over dead. And they fall at seemingly arbitrary times throughout your adventure. That sort of mechanic isn’t new, but it adds a little bit of pressure and discourages arbitrary exploration if you expect to win, and I enjoy books that have that.

Also mechanics, the white cube mechanic was entirely novel to me. If you meet a monk, it unlocks a mini-game of looking at the book’s internal illustrations to find White Cubes, and these white cubes will simplify the trials you must survive once you get into the Fangs of Fury. It took me multiple playthroughs to even discover this mini-game, and it added an extra level of interest to the internal artwork.

So, I’m sorry Luke Sharp that when I first picked this up I expected it to be awful. It was quite fun and very long and interesting, and it kept me busy for days.

My only gripe is that there is a hell of a lot of stamina loss and almost no healing. There are a lot of lazy damage mechanics, too. While a lot of combat can be skipped once you’ve mapped it out, the majority of damage is required in the narrative. There is a tedious number of “roll doubles or take a hit” and “roll 6 times, take a hit for every double.” The required lockpick is behind “lose 2d6 stamina” and even walking out of the cave on page 1 will cost at least 5 stamina worth of stingers and intense exercise. There are very few healing spots throughout the adventure, too, so a potion of strength seems must-have.






Hints and Spoilers

To re-ignite the Furnace you need either the lockpick from the tinker, which is behind a brutal flash flood where you lose 2d6 stamina, or else to decode some clues in the Xen alphabet. Your chances of randomly guessing and getting it are small.

The Xen alphabet key is on page 247. The decoded messages are:
74 = CLIMB

The maps note white cubes and other useful boons with blue markers. The white cubes determine your position in the final gauntlet. Most of them drop you at, with increasing healing and black cubes as you have more white cubes for your level.



Written by Luke Sharp

Illustrated by David Gallagher


Book 39 in the series


Other FF Players and Links


Tags to Other Adventures

1989 Allansia David Gallagher Fighting Fantasy Jaxartes Khul Luke Sharp Ostragoth Titan Volcano Wazarri Zamarra

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First published March 5, 2023. Last updated May 19, 2023.